The time is now that health care providers, including nutrition professionals, educate ourselves about and attend, with greater intentionality, to the emotional wellbeing and mental health needs of people with diabetes and their caregivers. This is a critically important, yet often neglected focus of our work to achieve successful diabetes self-care and management outcomes. The good news is that we are seeing escalating attention to this topic in recent publications, practice papers, position statements, standards of care and consensus reports. You will see these publications noted and detailed in the pages ahead.
Some of the increased attention has been fueled by greater engagement in dialogue, be it via social media/ networking or at conferences and other meetings, between people with diabetes, their caregivers and health care providers, diabetes-focused organizations and their leaders and the diabetes industry. Some has been fueled by more mental health providers specializing in diabetes care and more research.
Collectively this is raising awareness about: the unique emotional and mental health needs of people with diabetes, the unique distress that managing this demanding 24/7 disease can cause, the stigma that swirls around diabetes, the language health care providers and society-at-large use to talk about diabetes and to people with diabetes, the need for person-centered holistic care, the value of peer support, and more. Drawing attention to these topics, educating nutrition professionals about their importance and offering a bevy of additional reading and resources are the key objectives of this OTCE.
CPE Level: 2